This blog post is probably my most raw and vulnerable as I’ve had time to process over the last 4 weeks as I’ve been healing from my abdominalplasty (tummy tuck). I entered the process of sharing with the intent to document my journey, to enable an internal process of accountability, and to allow myself the space to share my ups/downs without judgment. I hoped it might help people in my life to experience my journey with me vs just be on the outside. I also hoped someone might find it beneficial for their journey.
Surgery was a beautiful process of feeling seen, supported, loved and vulnerable. I wasn’t nervous but excited. I knew to the core of my being that this was the next step in my journey. I knew it would release more than I could imagine and open me in a way that would offer expansion into new territory on the psychological, emotional, physical, and spiritual level. And I really had no idea what I would experience nor what would be unearthed.
As I started to explore my new body, I realized that my lower belly was GONE. I no longer had skin and fat hanging on my upper legs. I now have one belly. I have no waistline. Before I had a waistline in-between my two bellies. I often could wear pants and jeans in a smaller size but now, no indent, no waist; just belly. My belly button is healing and it’s not comfortable to have pants that have a waist with a button and zipper. This has me limited in what I feel comfortable wearing…leggings or dresses. I really haven’t worn either of those regularly – ever! I don’t know my style anymore. I wonder if I’ll ever wear jeans.
I look at my body daily. This isn’t new. I’ve had a long self-love practice of looking at my body and offering it love and gratitude. And if in a moment I find something that I might judge or wish was different, I take extra time looking at that part, touching it, and asking my body to share with me why I judge it and open my heart to loving ALL of me. And now, post-surgery, a new belly, a new profile, a new set of feelings. I’ve had and continue to feel “in-love” feelings towards my body, especially my belly and my belly button. It’s soft. It’s firm. It’s shaped differently. Surgery kind of put my muscles and skin to sleep. Over the past month, I’ve been waking up. Little spasms, odd aches, and random pain. My incision is healing and almost all the stitches are out. I’m still a bit swollen and I’m not allowed to work my core or fully engage in my stomach muscles.
The limitation of bending over easily and the no lifting more than five pounds was okay but now, I’m frustrated and feeling emotionally and psychologically exhausted. I want to do what I want. I want to be self-sufficient in my life. I’d like to go to the grocery store and buy my big shop and carry it up the stairs but NO! Not allowed nor does it feel good. I tried a heavy bag of groceries and by the time I walked to my door and climbed the 29 steps I was exhausted. So I’m learning my limits and surrendering but it’s been challenging.
My sweet sister came up several times to help me. She cooked, cleaned, kept me company, and went grocery shopping for me. I felt so blessed and loved. And she even spent the night a few times. There was one Saturday where there were some challenging moments because my level of inner frustration blew its top. I wanted to help but I couldn’t and I felt guilty. I was upset at myself for not being capable and I just wanted to be able to do what I used to do. Thankfully it was my sister. She could feel my discomfort. The impact on her was a feeling of not doing it right or that her efforts weren’t appreciated. That only made me feel worse. I/We realized we needed to talk through it all and I’m grateful we could understand each other. Overall the day was full of such loving acts ended in love, gratitude, and hugs. (Thanks Sissy!!)
I’ve dipped into fear about what others may think or judge…the mind went a little crazy. I quickly realized that people are going to think or judge as they choose and that’s out of my control. So I return to my center by remembering why I chose to have surgery in the first place. It’s a celebration of all that I have accomplished in releasing old thoughts/beliefs, in changing my way of living- eating + movement, in how I approach situations, in learning to integrate and love all of me (shadow + light). It’s a “concrete, can’t escape the success” reminder every time I look into the mirror or feel my belly.
This journey of honoring my body, listening to it and trusting continues to have its ups and downs. I overwhelmingly feel strong but I’ve had my moments of tears. I have no regrets. I love how I am allowing myself to be present, to be human, to be in a body, to reach high into the cosmos for inspiration and bringing it all together inside the precious heart and soul that is – Dani Palacio – in the life.
I continue to be in gratitude for the life that I am living and the precious, magnificent souls that here with me. I am in awe of how the Universe has created opportunities to be more present, to slow things down, and to again give myself the opportunity to truly know my truth. (that’s my take on this COVID-19 mandates)
My journey is never over as the soul is eternal. Yet, I do feel like this part of the journey around surgery is complete. I go back to the surgeon on Monday, March 16 for my 1 month check-up. I’m sure all is great. And now it’s about the future…what do I want? What is calling to my heart? Who will I choose to be? How will I show up for myself and others? What newness is coming to me since I created so much space? For now…In this moment…I am happy, strong, healthy, at peace, grateful, and willing…
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!